Sick Moonshine Sans! :(

mirandajaneMay 10, 2013

Hi Gardeners,

I am a very new plant owner, and I am so sad my plant is ailing! Can you help me figure out what is wrong?

This is my first houseplant, a very pretty medium sized Moonshine Sansevieria I bought in January.

The pot is a glazed on the outside, clay on the inside pot with a drainage hole and attached drip tray. The soil mix is 3 parts cactus mix + 1 part super soil potting soil. The plant is in a sunny corner of the room where she receives ample indirect sunlight from a window and patio door with blinds. It has been in the 70s outside and the heat has been on at night so the air is very very dry here in the So-cal desert.

I was watering her about once every 10 days or so when the soil was bone-dry. I was very worried about OVER watering, but now I am worried I haven't been watering enough.

I recently noticed that the leaves are sort of leaning outward, and have these wrinkled spots. The edges of some of the spears are curled and browning, and there are also these worrisome soft wrinkled spots on the leaves.

I've watered twice in the last week, really soaking the soil, but everything seems to drain out and the pot is dry the next day.

I want to make sure I save my plant, without over watering it in the process.

Does anyone recognize the symptoms on the leaves and have any advice? I feel like I am letting this plant down. :(

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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

Those brown spots are typical of this cultivar. Take it out of the pot and examine the roots. See if they are rotting. Also the mix should have about 40% perlite to increase drainage, some use up to 60%. I would bet the soil is wet about half way down the pot and dry at the top only. This cultivar needs very low light. Direct sun will burn the leaves. What you said sounds ok so I may not be of help here. I seen these plants grow in clay dirt when all else is correct. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:55AM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

I have seen these spots on a snake plant of mine. I think it was due to overwatering

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 2:34PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi, I'm w/ Stush on abt the mix (Hiya Stush, waving attcha, thanks, I'll EM you later tonite I hope).

The mix is likely the problem here not porous or fast draining enough. Also, the attached saucer is not good for this plant, you'll need to always make sure to drain off the excess water.

Likelier better mix would be 50/50 cactus mix & perlite (forget what ever super soil is, too rich & water retentive for these plants). These are not tropical type houseplants, they're succulents, so the mix is crucial & their watering too.

These plants can rot easily from overwatering, less likely to die from underwatering, so when in doubt abt watering succulents, we suggest best not to water them.

They only way to tell what's going on here is to unpot it & inspect the roots, sorry. If you do, pls share pix of what you find. Good luck.

I'm sorry you feel like you're letting the plant down, but if you're new to plants, pls. DO know there's often a learning curve, this is likely part of that.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

If you'd like a good anecdote about how dry these plants can be, this is an interesting story.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 9:29AM
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Stush2049(Pitts., Pa. 6)

I have a story of a regular Jade plant almost the same. It was at my wife's grandfather's house when we were cleaning it out for sale after he died. There in the basement window was a stem about 12" long what look like a jade plant. It was there for over 10 years when her grandmother was alive. It was in the house for 2 years without heat and maybe 10 years without water. We watered it and in a month it sprouted new leaves. We had it for several years and it grew into a small tree when our cat used it for a scratching post and it all just died and rotted. I didn't know then how to care for a Jade. Shame.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Wow! We really have no idea about dryness on this half of the country where everything's lush and green and a month w/o rain is devastating... LOL! That's fascinating, Stush, loved hearing your story and helps me to NOT water my jade today...!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 8:51AM
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